In the 2013 offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles, change was made; a very BIG change.
Andy Reid, the 14-year coach of the Eagles was let go after a 4-12 record so that former University of Oregon head coach, Chip Kelly, an innovative and offensive mind, could step in and fill his shoes. Change was made not only in a coaching aspect, but many new names were brought to the team as well.
Under Coach Kelly’s new approach, he ensured a true competition for every position so not one player would be guaranteed a starting spot, especially at the quarterback position. From day one of training camp, Kelly made it clear that it was a battle between Nick Foles and previous starting quarterback, Michael Vick.
By the end of camp, Vick came out on top as the starter, leaving young Foles as backup. After a shaky start to the season for Vick which was riddled with turnovers, repeatedly poor offensive performances and a serious injury to his hamstring, change desperately needed to be made to the QB position. Then in came Foles.
The young gun-slinger has filled the shoes of Vick impeccably in his last few performances, leaving Vick to become a mere after-thought in the eyes of the ever-so-critical Philadelphia fans. Foles has come out to, what seems to be, a running start by leading the Eagles to a 4-2 record as a starter this season and is currently carrying a 3-game win streak on his reliable shoulders, placing the Eagles first in their division.
Foles has done more than just help turn this football team around, he has also helped salvage the reputation of the home-field advantage that Philly has historically been notorious for, by breaking a 10-game home losing streak against the Washington Redskins on Sunday. So where does this leave Vick? Is he feeling unimportant?
Over the upcoming weeks, if Foles continues to perform well, and the team continues to improve, Vick will be needed less. Even if the team is does not do outstanding the rest of the season, it is highly likely that Foles will continue to start over Vick because of the potential he has shown at his young age of 24. Vick is 33 and is also in the last year of his contract making it very unlikely that Vick will be an Eagle in 2014.
However, just because there is a possibility that Vick will not be an Eagle does not mean this is the end of his pro football career. In fact, there are multiple teams in the NFL that have found themselves without adequate quarterbacks this season (Vikings, Jets, Rams, Bills, Titans, etc.)
Whether these teams view Vick as a starter or a second stringer, it is a virtual guarantee he will be employed next year. Vick is a very athletic, lead-by-example type of veteran who could fill in nicely for some teams who lack creativity and ‘spark’ from their current quarterbacks. He has all the skills to be a full-time starter, but not the body to do so because of his diminutive size, age, and how often he sustains injuries. In turn, Vick will likely become a backup wherever he goes, though it is feasible that he could be a starter again, just not in Philadelphia.
Moving forward with or without Vick, the Eagles look promising. Foles’ has had great success at the quarterback position, Lesean McCoy broke 1000 rushing yards in only 11 games, and the performance of the Eagles defense has stymied opponent’s offenses in recent weeks. They held Washington scoreless through the first three quarters of the game on Sunday and have only allowed more than 26 points three times so far. After the win against the Red Skins, they boosted themselves into first place in the NFC East division. After a shaky start to the season, the team is starting to come together. Behind a potent offense and a defense that has been red hot, this Eagles team is looking like a true playoff contender.